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Perry Cuskey

Day One, Hike #5

9 posts in this topic

After being [i:79c623accb]repeatedly[/i:79c623accb] and [i:79c623accb]severely[/i:79c623accb] chastised for failing to complete my hike reports, I’ve been sufficiently shamed to at least make the attempt. (It wasn’t really that bad, but it sounds dramatic.) So I’m going to try and finish them. Quite possibly before the 2008 hikes roll around. Any bets that I make it?

Anyway, on we go with hike #5...

Following the end of our fourth hike, Bjorn states that he is going to walk across the park to the site of the next hike (focusing on the Hornet’s Nest and starting at the Peach Orchard), and invites anyone who wants to join him to come along. (Bjorn isn’t leading the next hike, but he will take part.) He also recommends that everyone drive, being that the next hike starts in less than 30 minutes, and it’s a fair distance from where we are in Woolf Field over to the Peach Orchard. But if we want to walk, we’re welcome to join him. About eight of us, including Dan, Steve, and myself, decide that six hikes in one day isn’t nearly enough exercise, and take part in this optional walk-along-with-Bjorn.

From Woolf Field we head off down the Main Corinth Road toward Duncan Field. Along the way, Bjorn pauses near the open woods beside Review Field, and points to the area as a good example of what much of the present-day park looked like at the time of the battle. (Click on the picture below for a larger view.)

[img:79c623accb]http://thumb7.webshots.net/t/59/659/3/62/69/2091362690029707667bNUzZA_th.jpg[/img:79c623accb]

The spot is, in fact, one of a few areas around the park that does indeed help clear up some confusion where the battle is concerned. Most of the thick forest around Shiloh makes it difficult to get a clear grasp on the overall picture. Or figure out how battle participants were able to see each other through all those trees and underbrush surrounding you out in the park.

At the time of the battle though, you could have seen farther in much of the park than you can today, due to the more open nature of the woods at that time. As we are told during the course of the weekend, this was mainly due to the canopy effect of the old-growth forest existing in 1862, and the free-ranging local livestock. This combination tended to keep the undergrowth in check.

The small area between Review Field and the Main Corinth Road is a very good example of what much of the battlefield probably looked like in April 1862. As Bjorn tells us though, this is mainly true for the area of the park up on the plateau. The wooded areas near the streams and lower elevations were probably as dense, or perhaps even more so, than they are today. (This is worth keeping in mind as you‘re plunging through undergrowth around the park, getting whacked by tree limbs and thorn bushes and wondering which way is which. Many of the soldiers in the battle probably had the same experience. But unlike them, at least no one is also shooting at you.)

Following our brief stop we head off again toward Duncan Field, where we turn down the Sunken Road toward our next “official” hike, centered on the legendary Hornet’s Nest. Through which, as it so happens, our little band is about to pass as well. Sort of a hike before the hike. Not surprisingly, the conversation turns to the Hornet’s Nest, and from there to D.W. Reed.

David Wilson Reed was a Union solider in the 12th Iowa Infantry at the time of Shiloh, and helped defend the Sunken Road where it runs alongside Duncan Field. Wounded in the leg during the retreat from the Hornet’s Nest, Reed remained on the field that night and was recovered by the advancing Union army the following day. He eventually recovered from his wound, returned to duty, and served out the remainder of the war. Following an active post-war career, Reed was appointed as the first secretary/historian of the newly established Shiloh National Military Park in 1894. Over most of the next two decades, Reed would become, more than any other person, responsible for creating the park that we know today.

[img:79c623accb]http://thumb7.webshots.net/t/59/559/8/44/54/2582844540029707667ZePgrD_th.jpg[/img:79c623accb]

In 1902, Reed also wrote an overview of Shiloh that, while describing the action on the entire battlefield, appears to subtly emphasize the importance of the Hornet’s Nest (where his own regiment fought) as the battle’s turning point. This interpretation still dominates the popular view of Shiloh. (See a revised copy of Reed’s book here - http://www.shilohbattlefield.org/commission/home.htm)

As we talk about Reed and the Hornet’s Nest during our trek along the Sunken Road, Bjorn says that he does not believe Reed really intended for the Hornet’s Nest to dominate the history of the battle the way it has for so long. Reed’s book, Bjorn points out, is actually a pretty accurate overview of the battle, and clearly discusses other aspects of the fighting besides the Hornet’s Nest. Reed was also a stickler for accuracy when it came to placing the markers and monuments everywhere in the park, and not just in the Hornet’s Nest. Although that area did hold a strong, and probably quite natural, interest for him personally.

Bjorn says, in effect, that future historians and students of the battle may have picked up on Reed’s subtle emphasis on the Hornet’s Nest and basically ran with it, perhaps magnifying its importance beyond what Reed originally intended. Over the years the idea of the Hornet’s Nest as the central event of the battle was repeated and reinforced to the point that, until fairly recently, it’s validity was seldom if ever questioned.

One of the very first historians to do some of that questioning may have been Edward Cunningham.

Cunningham wrote a PhD dissertation on Shiloh in the mid-1960’s, but for some reason chose not to have it published. Between the finished dissertation in 1966 and Cunningham’s death in 1997, three major books on Shiloh were released by other historians. But as time went by, park rangers began to point more and more to Cunningham’s unpublished dissertation as the best overall treatment of the campaign and battle.

Efforts by historians Tim Smith and Gary D. Joiner to finally have the dissertation edited and released in book form came to fruition earlier this year. Cunningham’s [i:79c623accb]Shiloh and the Western Campaign of 1862[/i:79c623accb] had been released one week prior to the battle’s anniversary. The park bookstore was well-stocked with copies at the time of our visit, and from what I could tell did a brisk business.

Rangers make reference to Cunningham’s “new” book several times during the course of the weekend, and when questioned about good books on the battle, almost invariably suggest it. Bjorn too has high praise for Cunningham’s book as we walk along toward the Peach Orchard, but adds that each of the (now four) major books on Shiloh has its strong points and weak points, as all books do.

Another subject that comes up during our walk is Braxton Bragg.

Among his many sins from the war, real or imagined, Bragg is often accused of wasting lives at Shiloh by repeatedly ordering unsupported frontal assaults on the Hornet’s Nest. (It almost becomes a running joke during the weekend, in fact, that Bragg was not happy unless he could find some isolated and outnumbered outfit that he could hurl against the Yankees.) One argument holds that if such a frontal assault was going to be made, it should have been done by combining all of the troops used in the various isolated assaults into one, large-scale attack. It is not a bad idea, except for one problem: the troops needed for such an assault were not actually available.

The majority of the southern army on the first day at Shiloh was concentrated on the flanks. With a few exceptions, the center - where the famous Hornet’s Nest and Sunken Road were located - was largely devoid of Confederate soldiers until late afternoon. As a result, no large concentration was available to throw against the Hornet’s Nest for most of the day.

The isolated troops that Bragg used against the position were just that - isolated. Largely off by themselves in the center of the battlefield, while most of the army was fighting on either flank. Three to four of the assaults - depending on who you ask - were made by the same, unsupported brigade of Colonel Randal Gibson between about noon and 2 p.m.

This does not exonerate Bragg. But, it does dispel the myth that perhaps the equivalent of a division or more was available for a massive attack on the Sunken Road position sometime between mid-morning and late afternoon. As is brought up during our walk, most of the troops needed to do such a thing were engaged elsewhere on the field.

After walking the length of the Sunken Road from Duncan Field to the Peach Orchard, we arrive at the starting point for the next official hike, about 20 minutes late. Not spotting a large group of folks tagging along behind a ranger anywhere, we decide to loop around and start back, figuring we probably passed the main group somewhere along the way.

We finally catch up to the main group a bit short of the Eastern Corinth Road, not quite in the center of the Hornet’s Nest. Ranger Tom Parson is leading this tour. The group is stopped as we approach, listening to Tom describe some of the actions that took place near where we’re standing.

Just about the time we get within earshot, I hear Tom say something along these lines: “You’ve all heard of the famous Sunken Road at Shiloh? Well guess what - you’re standing in it. Not very ‘sunken,’ is it?”

[img:79c623accb]http://thumb7.webshots.net/t/16/16/9/65/38/2392965380029707667HcKxVO_th.jpg[/img:79c623accb]

He’s right. The famous Sunken Road isn’t very sunken at all. And despite what we sometimes read, it appears that it was not that way during the battle. The name apparently did not take hold until many years after the war. In his book on Shiloh, historian Larry Daniel says that the name may have been a post-war invention of the National Park Service.

Whatever the case, the strength of the position was due more to the location as well as the number of troops and artillery defending it, rather than the ‘sunken’ roadbed. A thick stand of underbrush - the original “Hornet’s Nest” - flanked on either side by open fields fronted the dirt road along which roughly 10,000 Union troops made their stand, supported by more than 30 cannons.

Prior to late afternoon, the largest number of Confederate troops sent against this position was about 3,600, around 11:30, in an attack that made little headway. Gibson’s lone brigade of perhaps 2,300 had been dashed against the center of this line, like waves against a rock, three to four times without success. Bragg, who had been responsible for sending them in, later referred to them as a “mob,” and to Gibson himself as an “arrant coward." (Say what you will about Bragg - he sure knew how to insult people.)

At one point during a pause in our hike, someone brings up the large Confederate monument near the center of the Hornet’s Nest. The granite memorial, dedicated to the troops from Arkansas who fought at Shiloh and standing only a short distance from the Union line, marks the approximate spot where Lt. Colonel John M. Dean fell mortally wounded while leading his 7th Arkansas regiment against the Hornet’s Nest. After the attack receded, Captain Warren Jones of the 14th Iowa came out from the Union lines, knelt beside the fallen Rebel officer and briefly spoke to him. He then covered his face with a small handkerchief and folded the dying man’s arms across his chest before returning to his own lines.

In attempting to describe what the Confederate attackers faced here, Tom at one point asks a young girl to walk forward down a path to a point several yards beyond the main Union lines, while the rest of us stay back in the roadbed. She quickly hurries off and just as quickly is all but out of site, disappearing into the underbrush. When she reaches the spot Tom designated, she begins jumping up and down, waving her arms, so that we can see her.

The point is well made. Had she remained motionless, it would have been as difficult for us to detect her as it was for the Confederates to detect the location of the Union line until they were all but on top of it. (I've had this experience myself, in re-tracing their path through the woods toward the Sunken Road. You can find yourself wondering how much farther it is when all of a sudden, there you are. If someone were standing there with a gun, they could shoot you before you knew what happened. It's quite sobering to be there, and imagine what it must have been like during the battle.)

Finally it is time for us to move on, and Tom calls the girl back to the group so that she does not remain behind by herself, jumping up and down in the woods.

It is also around this time that several of us are suddenly hit by a major case of leaf dust. Steve, especially, seems to be affected rather badly. Fortunately another member of the group has an extra bottle of water handy, and before long Steve is his usual smiling and non-coughing self.

The group then moves off down the Eastern Corinth Road, toward its junction with the Main Corinth Road a short distance behind the Hornet's Nest. I'm somewhat surprised that we turn off the Sunken Road at this point, rather than continue the rest of the way through Duncan Field. I'm not sure why this is, or if Tom says anything about it. But perhaps it simply due to the fact that the famous field did not really see all that much in the way of fighting. At least not on the order of the thicket itself, or of the Peach Orchard on the other side of the line.

Oddly enough though, I'm a bit disappointed, even though several of us have just finished walking this very route from the opposite direction. Duncan Field is one of my favorite spots on the battlefield from when I was a kid, and I guess I just feel a bit cheated when the group turns away from it. Never mind that I've already seen it who knows how many times before.

Perhaps this also explains my bad memory, because it's at this point that my recall of the rest of the hike oddly seems to just not be there. I vaguely remember possibly stopping at Prentiss' surrender site and W.H.L. Wallace's mortuary monument, but I can't say for sure. Maybe I waited too long to write this hike. Or maybe I was so traumatized by the decision to bypass Duncan Field, my mind has blocked out the rest. We'll see if things improve any for hike #6, when we stand with Grant along his Last Line, and join some mighty brave Rebels as we plunge through the canyon that is Dill Branch Ravine.

Perry

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Perry......

Now you know why some of the ORs that were written well after the battles are a bit off. The longer you wait to write about it' the more one forgets!!! Better hurry up and write the rest of the hike reports before you even forget being there!!! <G>

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Perry has done his usual great job in reporting on the hikes.. His memory and efforts are to be commended.. I hope now that the days are getting shorter and summer is on the wane that we can get back to discussing the points of this battle..

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What made the WPH Line Strong?

First of all, let me explain why this post is here: when I typed "strength of the position" into the Search Box, this was the only hit that came back. But upon reading Perry Cuskey's Hike Report from all those years ago, I discovered he had discussed several of the elements that I felt deserving of mention... and since I could not do a better job of introducing this topic than Perry did, I add my contribution, here.

Second, the "WPH Line" refers to the position that eventually incorporated the Sunken Road and the Hornet's Nest (and which I refer to as the WHL Wallace -- Prentiss -- Hurlbut Line) because I feel that talking about "the Hornet's Nest" or "the Sunken Road" is too restrictive; the position established by the three Division Commanders just mentioned, accidental as it may have been, was a continuous line, that adjusted and snaked around over the course of Day 1, from about 9:15am until its final collapse at about 5:30pm.

And this is not an attempt to proclaim that the WPH Line is "the position that saved Grant and his Army." This is merely an exercise -- an effort to identify the factors that made this position strong.

So with the introductions out of the way, I'll start off by presenting three of the factors that I have identified:

  • Artillery.  By my count, there were forty-seven individual field pieces employed by the Union in support of the WPH Line, ranging in size from 6-pounder to 10-pounder and 20-pounder. The organizations possessing those pieces:  Cavender (12), Powell (5), Willard (6), Mann (4), Hickenlooper (4), Munch (4), Ross (6), and Myer (6).
  • Location. Location. Location.  The WPH Line occupied the high ground, with terrain to the south sloping away, gently downwards towards any Confederate attackers intent on frontal assault. One element of the WPH Line (the Hornet's Nest) was even described by William Preston Johnston as "a natural fortress."
  • Hope.  Senior officers were told that "Lew Wallace was coming to reinforce them," and that his 5000-plus soldiers and batteries of artillery were expected to arrive at any moment. This Lew Wallace-rumor appears to have trickled down to the men-in-ranks; and it provided psychological justification (and morale boost) for "holding on just a little while longer..."

Ozzy

 

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Two more factors that made the WHL Wallace - Prentiss - Hurlbut Line a strong position:

  • The number of Federal troops engaged (numbers taken from DW Reed, Pages 91-101) with WHL Wallace providing 6000 (after separating out 13th Missouri and three Illinois regiments from 8400); Prentiss (estimated to have arrived with 500 or so; but augmented by the 23rd Missouri (575)); and Hurlbut (minus Veatch) contributing about 5000... for a total (at its peak strength) of  12,075 men.
  • Capable leaders. This became apparent to me when I encountered the performance of Major Ezra Taylor (working for Sherman and McClernand as Chief of Artillery on the Western side of the Battlefield.) Because the WPH Line benefited from having two competent directors of artillery: Colonel James McPherson and Major John S. Cavender.  The man responsible for "sounding the alarm" at 4:55am (Major James Powell) also contributed to the effort, for a while; BGen Stephen Hurlbut may not have been the most dynamic leader, but he was steady, and most of his decisions were sound... and he benefited from having a bold, dynamic leader as part of his 4th Division: BGen Jacob Lauman. There were several meritorious Colonels of Regiments, two of which come to mind are William T. Shaw (14th Iowa) and Hugh Reed (44th Indiana). Last but not least, the team of WHL Wallace and Benjamin Prentiss. Until Wallace showed up in person (after placing his artillery), Prentiss believed that the 2nd Division was under the direction of MGen C.F. Smith; so the arrival of his old friend from the Mexican War would have been a pleasant surprise. And WHL Wallace admired Prentiss: there is no doubt the two of them worked well together, sharing infantry and artillery, and ideas on how best to fight their position. And the two Mexican War veterans appear to have worked well with Stephen Hurlbut (because the sharing of infantrymen and artillery pieces included the 4th Division.)

Will add more factors, as they come to mind...

Ozzy

 

References:  http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044011616513;view=1up;seq=105   DW Reed from HathiTrust

http://archive.org/details/lifelettgeneral00wallrich   Life and Letters of WHL Wallace from archive.org

 

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Interior Lines

Although Baron De Jimoni advocates "Attack -- attack -- attack!" in his book, The Art of War, he acknowledges that "a Defender often finds himself bestowed with certain benefits that can be turned to advantage." One of these benefits that was enjoyed by the Defenders of the WPH Line is termed, "Interior Lines (of operation, supply and communication.)"  But instead of offering a description of those lines, I thought it might be more beneficial to illustrate the strength of Interior Lines (as opposed to Exterior Lines, to which General Braxton Bragg was relegated) by offering a few comparisons:

  • Good roads.  Connecting the Wallace - Prentiss - Hurlbut Line to its base at Pittsburg Landing, two well-used wagon tracks (the East Corinth Road and the Hamburg-Savannah Road) allowed efficient re-supply of ammunition and reinforcements [whereas Braxton Bragg had only one good thoroughfare, which he called "the Bark Road."]
  • Proximity.  The WPH Line was close enough to the Landing at Pittsburg (about one mile away) to allow the drawing of needed supplies quickly; and the supply-lines were short enough to be easily defended, for most of the day. [General Bragg was twenty miles from his base at Corinth, reliant upon whatever made it into the wagons for his re-supply.]
  • Known location.  Everyone in the Federal defensive position (most importantly, the commanders) knew where Pittsburg Landing was, so could send for supplies "direct from off the boat" and could communicate by messenger with General U.S. Grant (who was at Pittsburg Landing whenever he was not elsewhere; with aides at Pittsburg who knew where to find him.) [Whereas Braxton Bragg suffered by grabbing units piecemeal, without really knowing where the supply wagons for those individual units were located. And both Albert Sidney Johnston (somewhere to the east) and General Beauregard (somewhere to the west) were more difficult to track down.]
  • Communications within.  WHL Wallace, Benjamin Prentiss, Stephen Hurlbut, John Cavender and James McPherson appear to have cooperated with each other (no doubt assisted by close proximity to one another, which encouraged and facilitated communication.) [Bragg coordinated with no one; and there was a lack of concentration of effort, with Polk assigned "a territory" against the Union center (focused on driving Raith and McClernand away); Bragg to Polk's right, attempting to solve his Hornet's Nest Problem; and Withers (Jackson and Chalmers) to the far right, solving the Stuart problem.]
  • Different goals.  Being on Defence, the Federal force had as its goals Survival; using up as much time as possible; wearing down the attacking force. [Bragg, on Offence, desired (should have desired) to overpower the Defensive position in front of him, as quickly as possible, with the least losses to his men and equipment as possible, allowing him to advance to the next objective position with most of his force intact.] Ironically, "Interior Lines" permit more expeditious operations (while using up time is a goal of Defenders) and Exterior Lines do not lend themselves to speed of operation (when expedition is desired by Attackers.)

In summary, the WPH Line benefited from operating on Interior Lines.

Ozzy

 

Reference:  http://archive.org/details/artwar00mendgoog   (Jomini's The Art of War, 1862 English translation, at archive.org)

 

 

 

 

 

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Defense in Depth

Mona made mention in an earlier post the concept, "I can touch you; but you can't touch me."  [SDG Hike Report on Grant's Last Line of Defense posted 27 September 2010]. This concept can be visualized as a boxer with long arms combatting a short-armed opponent. As long as the boxer with greater reach can duck, weave and dance away -- keep his short armed opponent from getting in close -- the long-armed boxer can land punches with impunity, without reply, all day long.

This analogy summarizes a military defensive strategy, termed "Defense in Depth," which was employed in conjunction with the WHL Wallace-Prentiss-Hurlbut Line. That line was initiated with a standard deployment of infantry -- each man within touching distance of his neighbor -- and the line facing south and southwest towards the threat. Armed with a variety of muzzle-loading rifle muskets, and firing rapidly and low, the effective killing range of this line was approximately 200 yards.

Inf Line (2).png

Hurlbut and Prentiss augmented this line with the addition of smoothbore cannon and howitzers, firing canister; some guns were slightly advanced, and others were embedded in the line of infantry. These "giant shotguns" extended the killing distance out to 400 yards, and included batteries belonging to Munch, Hickenlooper, Mann, Ross and Myer. http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_0830.htm  [On the linked map, the WPH Line is indicated by Sweeny, Tuttle, Lauman and Williams; and records the embedded artillery pieces.]

But even with the incorporation of these artillery pieces to the WPH Line, the defenders faced a problem: exploitation of a weak point in the line by the enemy. As invariably happened, the attacker (in this case, Bragg) would probe, assess, and find a weak point; force would be concentrated against that weak point and the defenders there would be driven away; then the attackers would turn and engage the exposed flanks.

But WHL Wallace employed Colonel James McPherson and Major John Cavender, and did something more with the artillery pieces belonging to the 2nd Division: 10-pounder and 20-pounder guns firing solid shot were deployed behind the line of infantry -- 100 to 300 yards behind -- and positioned on local rises in the terrain (called prominences.) These artillery pieces had an effective range of 1800 yards, were fired over the head of the infantrymen, and were primarily used to keep Confederate artillery away.

On the face of it, the artillery deployed behind the line of infantry has given up 200 or 300 yards of effective range... which is true, if the contest took place on level ground. But the WPH Line occupied higher ground (which effectively extended the range of those artillery pieces). And those twenty-or-so guns operated as "defense in depth," protecting the line of infantry to their front, while being protected by that same infantry. (And other infantry units were detailed to provide direct support to the artillery batteries positioned in rear of the WPH Line.) http://civilwarlandscapes.org/cwla/states/tn/sh/tm_time/day1/d1_0930.htm  [On the linked map, the WPH Line is indicated by "Sweeny and Tuttle" at its northwest end, and records the "Defense in Depth" positions of Stone, Richardson and Welker.]

The siting of these artillery batteries 100-300 yards to the rear of the infantry line negated the benefit to  an attacker who found a weakness in that line of infantry, and penetrated that line... because the artillery, still to the attacker's front, prevented the Defender's line from being flanked. Canister was substituted for round shot to drive the attackers away. And if the attackers attempted to penetrate deep to the artillery, he soon found his own attacking line over-extended, and easily repulsed.

The Federal artillery pieces operated by George Stone, Henry Richardson, Frederick Welker and John Powell -- protected by distance and masked by trees and underbrush -- functioned as the "long-armed boxer" who could "touch the opponent, without being touched." They kept opposing artillery away. And they contributed greatly to the success of the WHL Wallace-Prentiss-Hurlbut Line in withstanding numerous Confederate attempts to expose and exploit a weakness in that line.

Ozzy

 

References:  civilwarlandscapes.org maps of Shiloh

SDG Hike Report of Grant's Last Line of Defense, by Mona, posted 27 September 2010

SDG topic: Hornet's Nest Artillery? by Ozzy, posted 30 September 2016

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defence_in_depth   Defense in depth

OR 10 pages 148-9 Shiloh Report of Colonel Tuttle

OR 10 pages 180-1 Shiloh Report of Colonel McPherson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good stuff, as usual.  I admit that I was at first skeptical of your observations, so I got out my Trailheads Map of the battlefield, along with Dr Smith's recently-published book and Major Reed's tablets.  A fortification of good Kentucky Bourbon helped my study, as well. Of the batteries which you list

Munch (1st Minnesota) is in the battle line of the Hornet's Nest and can fire into Duncan Field as well as down the Eastern Corinth Road.  According to the order of battle found in the Wikipedia, it is armed with 4 James Rifles.

Hickenlooper (5th Ohio Light), according to Dr Smith, was located on Munch's left, a little further down the Sunken Road toward Sarah Bell's Cotton Field.  Like Munch, it is located in the battle line.  Major Reed did not place a tablet there, but the battery monument is located there.

Mann (Battery C, 1st Missouri Light), is located in the Peach Orchard, and is armed with two six-pound smoothbores and 2 twelve-pound howitzers, if the Wikipedia is to be believed.

Ross (2nd Michigan Light), is initially located on the western edge of Sarah Bell's Cotton Field, and then withdraws to Wicker Field where it fights from 1500 to 1600, in preparation for being captured.  According to the Wikipedia, it is armed with two six-pound smoothbores and four ten-pound Parrott Rifles. Its positions are consistent with being in the front line in these two locations.

Myer (13th Ohio Light) is dispersed early in the fighting and really doesn't play a role, so I must dispute you on this one.  Hurlbut noted that "officers and men, with a common impulse of disgraceful cowardice, abandoned the entire battery, horses, caissons, and guns, and fled, and I saw them no more until Tuesday."

Also of use in the front line is Williard's Battery (Battery A, 1st Illinois Light) under the command of Lieutenant Wood.  Initially located in the Sarah Bell Cotton Field, it fights to the immediate right of Munch's Battery in the Hornet's Nest, again being able to fire into Duncan Field and down the Corinth Road.

Of the batteries that were your "long-armed boxer", Stone (Battery K, 1st Missouri Light) is located near the junction of the Eastern Corinth Road and the Corinth Road, well behind the battle line.  My initial reaction was that it lacks an effective field of fire, but a closer examination of the map shows it is located at the head of ravine, roughly paralleling the west side of the Eastern Corinth Road. There is a ridge intervening between it an Duncan Field, preventing it from firing into that location or of engaging in counter-battery fire with Ruggle's Battery.  According to Major Reed, the battery has two ten-pound Parrott Rifles and two twenty-pound Parrott Rifles.

Richardson's Battery (Battery D, 1st Missouri Light), is initially located on the Eastern Corinth Road behind the line of the Hornet's Nest (from 0900 to 1530, according to Major Reed).  It then displaces to Wicker Field where a section fights until 1600.   According to Major Reed, the battery ss armed with two ten-pound Parrott Rifles and two twenty-pound Parrott Rifles.

Welker's Battery (Battery H, 1st Missouri Light) is located on high ground roughly half-way between Wicker Field and the Eastern Corinth Road and is behind the battle line of the Hornet's Nest. According to Major Reed, the battery is armed with two ten-pound Parrott Rifles and two twenty-pound Parrott Rifles.

Powell's Battery (Battery F, 2nd Illinois Light) is located in the northwest corner of Wicker Field, initially pretty far back from the battle line in the Peach Orchard, although the battle will reach it later in the afternoon of April 6.  It is armed with six six-pound smoothbores.

This examination confirms your characterization of the long-armed boxer.

 

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Transylvania

Thanks for having a look at the above WHL Wallace -- Prentiss -- Hurlbut Line posts. Can you think of any other factors that made the WPH Line strong?

Ozzy

 

N.B.  Like I mentioned in the Defense in Depth post, I got the idea to investigate that tactic after Mona referred to it in an earlier discussion. Otherwise, I could not understand why so many artillery pieces were "out of action" behind the line of infantry.

 

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